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DALLAS-In her last “State of Dallas” address before NAIOP, the oft-contentious Mayor Laura Miller, who’s not seeking re-election, urged members to stand behind the Trinity River plan by speaking out against a last-ditch effort to return the issue to a voters’ ballot.

The opposition camp is gathering signatures on a referendum question that could usurp nine years of planning and untold cap-ex that’s been put into the large-scale redevelopment of the river basin. “If you take the parkway out of the project, you don’t have a project any more,” Miller told the jam-packed room at the local chapter’s monthly meeting at Dallas Country Club along Beverly Drive in North Dallas.

The annual state of Dallas address is paired with NAIOP’s awards for top office and industrial brokers and top developer, all coveted industry honors in the Dallas/Fort Worth brokerage circuit. This year’s office brokerage award went to Randy Cooper with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc., who closed 42 transactions totaling 1.5 million sf in 2006. The top-ranked industrial broker is Mark Miller, principal of NAI Robert Lynn, who completed 88 deals totaling 4.5 million sf. And “developer of the year” went to Hillwood for numerous projects across the region, but mostly its Victory roll-out. Ross Perot Jr. was on hand to accept the trophy.

The Dallas development pipeline is being fueled by Hillwood’s Victory and a series of upcoming projects by others, many of which have direct relationship to the Trinity River Vision, part of a comprehensive plan to unite the city’s numerous infill districts. The first condos in Harwood International Inc.’s Azure were the ones that overlook the Calatrava bridges, which are being made in Italy right now, according to the mayor. Other developers like JPI are in the process of buying sites along the Trinity River, which as it stands doesn’t stack up to river status except during heavy rains. Likewise, New York City-style parks are making their way to fruition in the midst of the most active development period in the city in decades.

“All these things are happening right now. It would be a shame to lose that momentum,” Miller says. And, she adds, many projects are in the pipeline “with the expectation we’re going to have a first-class river project.”

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